Trinity Camp 1999
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The Mount Rainier Centennial Technology Camp

The Mount Rainier Centennial Technology Camp (a.k.a. Trinity Camp) is a landmark alliance between Trinity Technology, the Washington State School System, Mount Rainier National Park, Tacoma Metroparks, the US Dept. of Energy, and Microsoft. It seeks to improve the lives of disadvantaged students by helping them gain the confidence and skills necessary for personal and professional growth. The program takes place in a wilderness setting and uses experiential education where the students actually perform what they are learning.

The Centennial Program targets 33 poorly funded Washington schools having high enrollment in free and reduced lunch programs. These schools typically contain high Native American, Mexican American, and African American populations. They are generally located in rural or inner-city areas. Once selected, each of the schools selects three low-income students from the ninth to eleventh grade. Students must be physically fit and intelligent, but have difficulty learning in a classroom. After an initial orientation, students go on a three-day backpacking expedition on Mount Rainier. This new environment, away from existing habits and social groups, places new demands upon them, promoting better ways to solve problems and learn. The myriad of successes and failures experienced during the trip creates an imprint for what it takes to cooperate with others and accomplish a goal.

The program then applies their new wilderness-derived values and teamwork skills to four-days of intensive computer training at Buck Creek Camp near Mount Rainier. Students begin by assembling computers, loading operating systems, and learning applications. They are then trained by multimedia professionals from Macromedia in Director, the worlds leading multimedia production software. With these skills, students will ultimately produce the Mount Rainier Centennial Wilderness-Preservation CD-ROM using the media they gathered during their backpacking trip.

After completing the summer program, students are required to serve in a one-year technology support internship at their school district. This provides real professional experience while giving school districts desperately needed computer support personnel free of charge. Upon completing the internship, students receive a free computer with software, and their school receives a free computer lab (12 systems) with software.

A primary mission of the Centennial Camp is to advance a new teaching model using project-based experiential education in which technology is used as a tool to produce a marketable product whose revenues ultimately sustain the program. This model gives poorly funded school districts the opportunity to generate their own funding to purchase technology. To advance this mission, the program hopes to provide a specialized 13th computer to each school. This will be a system specifically optimized for Macromedia Director including a scanner, microphone, video input controller, and software. With this system, schools can utilize their newfound multimedia skills to get into the "CD-ROM production business". Thirty-three of these computers will be assembled by the students during the computer training camp and used to produce the Centennial CD-ROM. After the computer training camp, each school may take one of these computers back with them. It will be on-loan to the school for one year. If during this year students from the school produce and sell a CD-ROM to a government agency or corporation, and provide a copy of this CD-ROM to the Mount Rainier Technology Camp, then title to this computer and software will forever pass to the school. Otherwise schools must return this computer by 6/15/2000.

For more information:
see our web site
email Lou August
call Trinity Tech at 425-250-1250

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